The hot news story is the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal at Penn State. Coach Joe Paterno's reputation has been destroyed faster than anyone I've seen, without ever being committed of a crime.
Sandusky is the child molester and Penn State fired him back in 1999. So what does this scandal have to do with Penn State? The complaint against Penn State officials is that they should have called CPS based on hearsay and suspicions about Sandusky.
I think that CPS is evil. Child molesters are also evil. University officials are usually spinelss jerks. But I don't see where the officials did wrong in this case.
After some 1998 allegations, they confronted Sandusky and got him to admit to inappropriate behavior. They turned the case over to the police, but there was insufficient evidence to prosecute. They fired him. Most of the blame on the Penn State officials is based on their handling of a 2002 allegation.
My theory is that McQueary is lying about that 2002 incident. He says that he witnesses a brutal rape of a 10-year-old boy in the shower, and he walked away without doing anything. I say Sandusky was showering inappropriately, but not committing sodomy. Years later, the DA puts the heat on McQueary and tells him that they need his testimony to put away a child molester. He cooperates. Then the DA says that they’ve widened the investigation to nail officials in a cover-up. McQueary starts to get cold feet. The DA threatens to charge McQueary with failure to report, unless he testifies against Paterno and Curley. McQueary agrees, in exchange for immunity from prosecution and anonymity in the grand jury report. McQueary complies with DA pressure to exaggerate the allegations.
I think that it is pretty crazy to blame someone for not calling CPS in 2002, when no one knows what happened, or who the boy was, or what was said about it. It is also pretty crazy for prosecutors to base their whole case on a witness who, by his own admission, walked away from a child rape without intervening or reporting it.
The state mandated reporter laws usually people in the child care business to report suspected child abuse in kids under their care. I am not sure how this applies to an ex-employee who brings a non-student child onto campus. Some people are probably going to say that this case shows that officials should not just report suspected child abuse to CPS, but also any inappropriate behavior with a child. I do not agree, but I am afraid that public opinion seems to tilting toward reporting everything as a result of hysteria about cases like this.
Everyone blames Penn State for delays in taking action. But the current evidence against Sandusky was presented to the DA in Spring 2008, and they investigated for 3.5 years before arresting Sandusky. I really don't see how the DA can blame Penn State for not seeing that he was a child molester when the DA took 3.5 years to figure it out.